Media and Advertising

Massage Milk and the disaster of journalism in China

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Life Weekly's cover: All the people blog
Massage Milk is China's best blog, in your correspondent's opinion. The blogger, who goes by the name Dai San Ge Biao, writes caustic commentary on Chinese media, and is a master of humorous sarcasm with a Beijing flavor.

Dai San Ge Biao's real name is Wang Xiaofeng. He is a journalist at Life Weekly magazine, of which the latest issue's cover is reproduced here.

This is a rough translation of a recent post:

Looks like blogging's good times are over

The cover story of this week's issue of Life Week is about blogs, the cover of the current issue of China Newsweek is also about blogs, next week's issue of Newsweek (U.S.A.) will contain an article about blogs in China. With such a fuss being made, we are surely about to see some 'improvement and rectification' [i.e. a clamp down].

Another recent Massage Milk piece was published on the same day that Xinhua published 'Most reporters in China want to change jobs'. The Massage Milk post was titled called Journalist's Disaster (记者劫), a pun on the words for Journalist's Day (like Mothers Day etc.) Here is a rough translation of the post:

Yesterday morning someobody sent me an SMS wishing me happy holiday. I though about it for the longest time but I couldn't remember what holiday it was. Then someobody told me it was Journalist's Day. Then I asked myself: "Am I a journalist?"

I have always been ashamed of the word 'journalist'. When I had just graduated, I wanted to be a journalist covering social issues, but later I discovered that my personality was not suitable for this such work.

Once I was talking to a boss of mine. He had a lot of money and nowehere to invest it. I asked him, why don't you invest it in media. He said he once went to XXXX Evening News and he saw that there was a huge pile of documents on the editor-in-chief's desk. All of those documents were notices ordering that the newspaper was not allowed to report on this and on that. Then he said to himself, investing in media is risky. A businessman's way of thinking is to minimize risk to the lowest possible level and to avoid investments where the risk cannot be controlled.

The Beijing News has a slogan that they use in their advertising: "Responsibly reporting about everything". I have come up with another slogan for them to use: "Responsibly reporting about certain things".

At the end of the day, is it "responsibly reporting about everything" or "responsibly reporting about certain things" that will make society more harmonious? It is self-evident to people who understand.

Before becoming a journalist, I had many dreams such as becoming a journalist with a conscience. Damn. After becoming a journalist, I found out that you either lose your conscience, or you lose your self-confidence. Journalists, these people, they still deserve their own fucking holiday!?

After reading He Qinglian's Chinese journalists: dancing in shackles, I suddenly felt that being a journalist is really fucking pointless and boring. Is it 'Journalist's Day' (记者节) or 'Journalist's Disaster' (记者劫)? If one day I stop being a journalist, I will totally part ways with the media industry.

Another good post by Dai San ge Biao was previously published on Danwei:

Our editor has at last erected a blog!

God, god, god!

I used to believe that there were a few things I'd never see during my lifetime, like the sun exploding, the Pacific Ocean drying up, China following a multi-party system, and our editor-in-chief running a blog. But our editor-in-chief has suddenly appeared on the contemptible Sina Blog service. So now I've begun to believe that in my lifetime I may see the sun explode, the Pacific Ocean turn into cropland, and China implement separation of powers ... imagine, what a beautiful future - you can walk through fields of sorghum to get to America.

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